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Ramadan Appeal for Muslim Women, Children and Families

“Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs, For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity) for them is a great Reward.” ~ (Sura Al- Hadid 57:7)

Assalaam Alaikum,

In the spirit of Ramadan, when we remember the most vulnerable amongst us, I’m reaching out to enlist your help for a highly marginalized and oft-ignored, yet crucial, group in our community: Muslim women and families whose lives have been torn apart by violence and abuse. Turning Point for Women and Families addresses the needs of Muslim women and families affected by domestic violence. This December we will complete eight years of service to New York City’s Muslim community, insha’Allah. Our services are culturally sensitive, spiritually grounded, confidential, and always free. Please help us keep it that way.

Domestic violence transcends culture and religion and is stigmatized and under-reported in all communities. However, for the Muslim community, this issue is compounded even further by racial profiling, hate crimes and forced detentions, making many in our community fearful of accessing services from mainstream organizations. Even 11 years after the 9/11 attacks, we continue to see a surge in Islamophobia which will further isolate our communities – especially the most vulnerable amongst us.

Despite various challenges, Turning Point is undeterred and our work goes on. A client recently wrote to us:

“Turning Point is where we are able to keep our dignity from being stolen by others…where we talk without thinking about the consequences of what we have said…where we get help without needing to give back.”

Given the denial and stigma surrounding domestic violence and child abuse in the Muslim community, publicizing this issue effectively and compassionately is undoubtedly an overwhelming task. Despite this, Turning Point has been able to win the trust of our community and has received consistent support from individual donors like you. Our Ramadan Appeals help us raise a substantial portion of our budget through crucial, generous donations from both Muslims and non-Muslims. Without these funds, we would not have been able to strengthen our programs and services that help sisters and children in need.

And, without the generosity of our supporters, we would not have been able to run our youth group, or offer crisis intervention, counseling, referrals for legal and immigration services, connection to shelters, holiday gifts, transportation expenses and emergency cash assistance. To date, we have served over 650 women, girls and children through our various programs and services.

We truly need your help this year. The ongoing economic crisis has drastically decreased the support we receive from foundations. But as financial resources shrink, the need for our services grows. During the last fiscal year:
• We received 1320 calls and emails – 54.5% were related to domestic violence.
• We served 65 women and 5 children – 59 were new clients (with 78 children) who came to us for direct services.
• Twenty seven teenage girls and young women participated in our youth activities.
• Our staff, youth members, volunteers and interns reached out to 2000 people and distributed more than 2300 brochures and flyers through community education and outreach at mosques/Islamic centers colleges, schools, community events, conferences and workshops.

But not all of our work can be captured in statistics. I am so moved by the teenage girls and young women who come together, find support, build self-esteem, and acquire leadership skills. This spring, we successfully hosted our fourth annual workshop series, “Mecca to Manhattan: Muslim Women Moving Mountains.” The workshops were facilitated by outstanding young professional women and helped empower and engage the participants by connecting them with positive Muslim female role models. One participant said:

“I learned so much, and I am being confident, and starting not to be shy.” Another participant stated, “They helped me with the process of choosing my future career.”

The highlight of our Youth Program is undoubtedly the ARISE NY! campaign, planned, designed and implemented by our Youth Leader and Youth members. Through workshops, the campaign aims to raise awareness about bullying and hate crimes targeting Muslim youth in schools and other public areas. Launched in fall 2010, our young people have presented to over 370 youth in public libraries and schools. City Council Member Daniel Dromm joined us in our first city-wide workshop, held in collaboration with CAIR-NY during Ramadan of 2011, and offered his support. We anticipate educating and empowering even more youth with another workshop this summer.

In June, our young members also performed a thought provoking skit on the bullying and targeting of Muslim youth for the 60 women, girls and children who came to our 6th annual Mother-Daughter picnic in Central Park.

In less than eight years, Turning Point has established itself as an invaluable social service organization that continues to have a dramatically positive impact within Muslim and larger communities. I invite you to visit our new website www.tpny.org to see how we’ve been featured in the media, locally, nationally and internationally. We are delighted to see that our long time aspiration of Turning Point becoming a national model for the Muslim community and its mission is coming to fruition, alhamdulillah.

We are grateful for and humbled by the trust we have earned from you, and ask for your continued support of our work serving Muslim women, girls and families. Please donate generously. Thank you in advance for your tax-deductible contribution, which can be made through our website www.tpny.org or by mailing a check to:

Turning Point for Women and Families PO Box 670086 Flushing, NY 11367

May Allah reward your generosity many times over during this blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarak.

Robina Niaz
Executive Director  

PS: I encourage you to visit our new website at www.tpny.org. And if you would like to learn more, please feel free to send us an email at info@turningpoint-ny.org, or call us at (718) 883-9400.

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